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ERIC Number: ED534607
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 247
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1249-7344-9
The Experiences of Middle School Students Using Data in an Eighth Grade Mathematics Classroom
Scavuzzo-Despagni, Patricia
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Hofstra University
In education, there is an increasing emphasis on the use of data in schools. Data are reported on academic achievement in school report cards each year. Administrators use data for curricular and evaluative purposes. Teachers are provided with data to improve their pedagogy. All of this data is based on student academic performance; however, students rarely ever see or use any of the data. Students have limited access to their own data and yet they are under tremendous pressure to perform well and demonstrate growth in achievement each year. Ultimately, there is a current focus of students as producers of data with a lack of attention on students as consumers of data. With limited access to their own data, there is little research on students using data. This study, therefore, fills a void in the current research on students using data. A quasi-experimental mixed methods research design was used to explore students' experiences in using data in a mathematics classroom, their attitudes in using data, and how it affected their learning experience. Ninety-six eighth grade middle school students from a Nassau County, Long Island, suburban, middle school participated in the study, 49 in an intervention group and 47 in a control group. Quantitative data were collected through a survey that measured attitudes towards mathematics. In addition, academic performance on New York State Assessments, midterm exams, and final exams were collected on student participants in order to compare the control group and the intervention group and to see differences in performance based on gender, math support, and math course. Qualitative data were collected through interviews and focus groups from students in the intervention group. In addition, archival and anecdotal data were also collected. This research study revealed an overall positive experience in students receiving data on their mathematical academic performance throughout the year. Students gained a better understanding of the data analysis process, became more self-aware of their personal math ability, became empowered as a learner, used data to be more time efficient in their study, and expressed a positive emotional impact as a result of using data in their mathematics class. The use of data was also found to have an impact on attitudes towards mathematics as well as on academic achievement. Exploring student use of data is critical today, as accountability is the cornerstone of education today. Students need to take on a greater responsibility for their learning and we have not given them the opportunity to do so. It is our responsibility to allow students access to their data and train them how to use it in such a way to improve their learning. This is the future of assessment and it is important for us to understand the power of putting the learning into the hand of students. Students and teachers need to work together as they gather data, create meaning of data, and provide appropriate feedback to each other in order to impact learning. This research will hope to inspire students and teachers to work together in a partnership of data users. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Grade 8; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York